Inconvenient truths: Chaldea, Phoenicia... will Syria and Persia be next?

It’s not just “global warming” that has been appropriately dubbed as an inconvenient truth; there are many other inconvenient truths as well. Some of them, readily accepted by much of the world, have only found their way to invisibility or denial in these United States. Among the latter is America’s lack of cooperation in the resolution once-and-for-all of the many issues that bring about crises and clashes between Israel and the people of Palestine.

Fifty-eight years after its creation by fiat, Israel is still thought of by its neighbors as an interloper-nation menacing with its iron fist a disposed people who have nothing left but their dignity and the hope that maybe the world will intercede on their behalf. An entire super-region, not just the Near East, has been in turmoil for decades because a true permanent peace between Israelis and Palestinians has not been sought with honesty.

And the inconvenient truth is that the United States deserves the lion’s share of the blame; for it has been Israel’s reliance on American unequivocal support and assistance that has taken her to that crest of cockiness from where to dictate, instead of negotiate. This reliance has created a diplomatically unhealthy situation that prevents a fertile middle ground from which harmony can, if properly seeded, germinate.

Israel leaders will tell you that this is a matter of survival for their nation; it’s either show undisputed supremacy, or they might as well dismantle Israel and give up on the idea of Zion. The only problem with that reasoning, which so far appears to work for them, if at a very high price, is that supremacy is a transitional, generational thing; and that sooner or later, it decays and disappears. What then, will the hate now smoldering under that supremacy flare up into revenge?

You need not be an expert in the Israeli-Palestinian issue to realize that Israel’s recent destructive pounding of Lebanon’s infra-structure is not answering any particular belligerent act, or more specifically, the incursion of some Hezbollah militants into Israel and the sequestering of two Israeli soldiers. Nonsense! It’s nothing but an orchestrated show of force, carefully planned – perhaps for years – to take out Hezbollah presence in Lebanon and show that country’s government, that Lebanon’s fortunes are tied to Israel’s… even if it has been six years since Israeli soldiers pulled back.

After all gets said and done, Lebanon will have to contend with much more than the rebuilding of its damaged infrastructure. The final tally, the economic cost to Lebanon, will go far beyond any short term reconstruction. It will be measured in billions of dollars. Beirut’s luster, its renaissance, once again has sunk; and it’s unlikely that its economic base – from a business and banking headquarters, tourism and real estate – will flourish until a hopeful final chapter is written on a viable and friendly co-existence, and appropriate borders drawn, between Israel and Palestine. The entrepreneurial spirit of those sons and daughters of Tyre and Sidon will just have to wait for now… the psycho-political damage inflicted by Israel in the last few days has been far too great.

For now, the discussion centers as to who is to blame for the latest flare-up. And, as one would expect, it’s an easy call for Bush. From the Summer Palace of the czars in St. Petersburg… he’s telling us who is at fault: “…it’s Hezbollah, Syria and the Iran ‘connection.’” Much in the fashion he has always simplified things for a citizenry he treats as dumb, ignorant and inordinately susceptible to fear. Just like “the WMD and that guy Saddam” almost four years ago… now it’s Sayyid Hasan Nasrallah and those terrorists from Hezbollah. Just like the terrorists in Gaza… you know “them fellows” from Hamas.

Imposition of geo-political dominance in the Middle-East, that’s what we’re witnessing. It all started with the invasion of Iraq by the American colossus in its reach for hegemony in the region, now being followed by a softened western flank courtesy of Israel. Which brings up the obvious question… will Syria be next? Is bombing Damascus a logical next step?

And while the Israelis are busy with Damascus, why couldn’t the US bomb the hell out of Teheran as well? Not just the city, but all Persian points of strategic interest. That will certainly take care of Ahmadinejad’s aspirations for nuclear power, even if that brings a contraction of the world’s oil supply to the point where the price at the pump increases 30-40 percent! Oh, well… that’s the price that needs to be paid for freedom and democracy, Americans will be told.

It may also send a message to the North Korea evildoer and nuclear pretender, Kim Jong-il. And show our protégée, Japan, that America is committed to her defense.

Really, Mr. Bush, wouldn’t it be a lot easier to stop this madness once-and-for-all and go to the root cause of the problem, one that thanks to your lack of effort, and hands-off attitude, remains unresolved? Isn’t this a most pressing inconvenient truth… our unwillingness to promote peace between Israel and Palestine, when it’s in our power to make it happen, to influence the cause of peace?

Will the Israeli-Palestinian problem stay with us indefinitely as another inconvenient truth? At this moment, prospects look rather dim for America to face the truth.